The Boater's Guide of New Hampshire: A Handbook of Boating Laws and Responsibilities
The Official Boating Handbook of the New Hampshire Marine Patrol - Web Version
Table of Contents
In periods of reduced visibility or whenever a vessel operator needs to signal his or her intentions or position, a sound-producing device is essential.
Use this chart to determine which device is required.
On State Waters
|Less than 16 feet long and under engine power||Hand, mouth, or power whistle|
|16 feet to less than 26 feet long and under engine power||Hand, mouth, or power whistle audible for one-half mile|
|26 feet to less than 40 feet long and under engine power||A bell and a hand or power whistle audible for one mile|
|40 feet long or longer and under engine power||A bell and a power whistle audible for one mile|
On Federally Controlled Waters
|Less than 65.6 feet long (includes PWC and “ski craft”)||Whistle or horn audible for one-half mile|
|65.6 feet long or longer||Whistle or horn and a bell audible for one mile|
Some common sound signals that you should be familiar with as a recreational boater are as follows.
- One short blast tells other boaters, “I intend to pass you on my port (left) side.”
- Two short blasts tell other boaters, “I intend to pass you on my starboard (right) side.”
- Three short blasts tell other boaters, “I am operating astern propulsion.” For some vessels, this tells others boaters, “I am backing up.”
- One prolonged blast at intervals of not more than two minutes is the signal used by power-driven vessels when underway.
- One prolonged blast plus two short blasts at intervals of not more than two minutes is the signal used by sailboats under sail alone.
- One prolonged blast is a warning signal (for example, used when coming around a blind bend or exiting a slip).
- Five (or more) short, rapid blasts signal danger or signal that you do not understand or that you disagree with the other boater’s intentions.